Sunday, March 31, 2019

A Wave Of Anti-Gay Hate-Crime Hoaxes Sweeps Through Portland

Nothing here can possibly surprise you if you've been paying attention.
   You'd think that sociologists, social psychologists, criminologists...somebody...would be studying this phenomenon. Maybe they are--I dunno. If not then that, too, cries out for explanation...
   Anyway, I'll bet they're not.
   Hypotheses are cheap. But I wonder whether this is the analog of a certain phenomenon on the right. The left often accuses the right of having hero fantasies. I think that's true, actually. So on the right we are more likely to find inclinations to think a lot about self-defense, armed intervention to stop violent crimes, way way too much discussion of exactly which guns are ideal for home defense, and for concealed-carry. Also, of course, a lot of attention to armed resistance against a rogue government or against an invading foreign power and survival in the event of apocalypse and anarchy.
   What I wonder is: are victim fantasies the left-wing analog of right-wing hero fantasies?
   It would seem to fit with something about the respective psychologies of the left and right. The contemporary rather-far left obviously "heroifies" certain kinds of victims. The right tends to idealize independence, the left (inter-)dependence. The right tends to be more, well, masculine, and the left more feminine.

   The situation may be complicated by the fact that playing the victim is currently a winning move in public dust-ups--so there's a practical motive for doing so. But that can be explained as a result of (1) victim-y dispositions of the far-ish left, and (2) the fact that they currently control the rules of public debate. So the far-ish left's "valorization" (as the PC/pomos used to love to say) of victimhood is the more fundamental phenomenon, and the fact that it's currently a winning strategy is the less-fundamental one.
   Old-school liberals weren't like new-school progressives in this regard. Or so it seemed to me. Democratic presidents won WWII, as we used to like to point out. But things have changed.
   Also: hero fantasies seem healthy and normal to me, within reason. Whereas victimhood fantasies...don't. Also, the right doesn't go around staging heroic-action hoaxes. Though I suppose that'd be harder than the other thing. Though not impossible...
   I suppose one might add/respond:  males tend to be programmed and socialized toward heroism, and females toward victimhood--which is, I reckon, what's largely at the root of damsel-in-distress tropes. Which both sexes are attracted by. Women do seem to be attracted to men who can and would protect them; so I suppose it's not impossible that they're also attracted, to at least some extent, to the idea of a certain kind of potential victimhood. Even if that inclination is typically overridden by other drives and interests.
   Though...the valorization if victimhood isn't about being protected or rescued, but about not being. Or, rather: appearing not to have been. In fact, it seems to me to be more about appearances than its opposite is. I'd like to be hero even if no one else ever knew about it. Though, of course, everybody knowing it would be way better! Weird... Well, maybe not weird at all... But maybe not everyone feels that way. There is the stolen valor phenomenon... Which I guess could count as a hero hoax...
   But anyway, the current uptick in hate-crime hoaxes almost has to be primarily--almost exclusively--about appearances. Hm. But maybe our private poor-me-I've-had-it-so-rough ruminations are private victimhood fantasies., those are more like excuses, or expectation-lowering. Which seem different.
  Well, I just made all that up.


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